PROGRESS: Crave ready to carve into Sioux City

Construction progress at CRAVE Sioux City

Ty Rushing | Sioux City Journal

SIOUX CITY – A new restaurant hopes to satisfy Sioux City residents cravings for sushi and contemporary American cuisine in a space that previously housed a local favorite.

Kaskaid Hospitality, a Twin Cities-based food service company, announced it was bringing its first Crave restaurant to Sioux City in November to replace the former Bev’s on the River, which closed Jan. 1.

Bev’s was started by the Miller family of Sioux City and opened its doors in December 2005. The riverfront restaurant, along with the adjacent Hilton Garden Inn and Jolly Roger Tiki Bar, were sold last May to Hegg Companies Inc. of Sioux Falls, a private equity real estate firm.

The riverfront complex in Chris Larsen Park, where those venues are located, was developed at a cost of about $10 million by the Miller family, beginning in 2003 with the modernization of an adjacent city-owned marina..

Kaskaid Hospitality operated Bev’s on behalf of Hegg Hospitality Management LLC, the hospitality management division of Hegg Companies. The two companies opened a Crave location in Sioux Falls early last year inside of a Hegg owned Hilton Garden Inn.

Darcie Marsh, general manager of Crave Sioux City, said the positive feedback they received from the community in June when Kaskaid took over the hospitality service for Bev’s on the River coupled with the success of Crave Sioux Falls prompted them to bring the concept to Sioux City.

“We had people that told us they drove up just to eat there,” Marsh said.

With Crave locations in Omaha and Sioux Falls, the addition of Sioux City gave Crave a nice foothold in the Missouri River valley, Marsh noted. She said the company was also impressed with the location where Bev’s was situated.

“Obviously, Bev’s had the best spot on the river,” Marsh said.

When the conversion is completed, customers will have an opportunity to enjoy a great view of the Missouri through Crave’s floor to ceiling glass windows, or during warmer months enjoy their meal outside in the patio area. Marsh noted every Crave location offers either an outdoor patio or rooftop dining area.

Marsh thinks Crave Sioux City should be as successful as its sister restaurants across the country because it has something for everyone. She noted it will have an extensive wine list that ranges from well known, but less expensive brands to high dollar bottles.

Another selling point will be the expansive menu that includes, burgers, steaks, pasta, pizza, handmade sushi rolls and more. Marsh said dishes are made-to-order and that Crave makes just about everything down to the sauces from scratch.

Because of the diverse offerings at Crave, Marsh thinks it can be an ideal place for people to have a family dinner, enjoy a girls’ or guys’ night out, meet with a business client or just provide a warm, open and inviting atmosphere to hang out in.

Crave’s will also have rotating specials. One popular example from its other locations is allowing kids to eat free with the purchase of an adult entree on Sundays, and other promotions have included offering discounted prices on menu items, such as sushi or wine.

Previously, Bev’s could seat up to 300 people in its restaurant, bar and outdoor patio seating area. The restaurant and hotel underwent significant repairs after it sustained damages due to historical flooding from the Missouri in the summer of 2011.

As part of the conversion to Crave, seating will be trimmed down to about 225, Marsh said. By mid-January, construction crews had already demolished most of the interior, which will soon feature an open kitchen, a circular bar area and a sushi bar where people can watch a chef prepare the Japanese delicacy.

Marsh said Crave is still hiring and she expects it to employ about 125 people. She also noted they tried to retain most of the staff members from Bev’s on the River. To help get the new Crave team members acclimated to the company, she said they provided them Crave gift cards and encouraged them to visit their open restaurants to see what the concept was about. Additionally, she said they’ve sent some staffers to train at other locations.

Ensuring that a lot of the Bev’s on the River employees stayed with Crave was important to the company, Marsh said.

“They built what we are,” she said.